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Tis the season of giving and one Mandan senior wrestler delivered a Christmas gift of a lifetime to a  Dickinson student and gave him a memory he will never forget. Jamie Council reports.

(Jamie Council/KX Sports)
Mandan’s Dale Spilman has wrestled in and won many matches, but he recently lost his first match of the season to a worthy opponent.

(Jamie Council/KX Sports)
How did it feel to beat a state champion?


(Zach Dobitz, AOTW) “Good. I beat Dale.”


(Jamie Council/KX Sports)
Zach’s father coaches at Dickinson High and approached Spilman earlier this year with the request.


(Dale Spilman, 2016 State Champion) “It was an initial yes. I’ve known Zach’s been a great young man. I’ve seen him wrestle with the club, seen him be a part of that team. For me to give him that opportunity, there’s no doubt in my mind that I would do it.”


(Jamie Council/KX Sports)
Zach is active in Midget Athletics, but his father wanted to give him a chance to know what it was like off the sidelines.


(Pete Dobitz, Zach’s Father and DHS Wrestling Coach) “We wanted him to be treated as normal and have an opportunity to do what everybody else is doing and he’s always thrived at that. If you watch the video closely, he was really focused, really determined.”


(Dale Spilman, 2016 State Champion) “For someone with down syndrome, people asked me, could Zach really wrestle? If you actually watched the video, Zach was doing moves the whole time and he actually knew how to wrestle really well.”

(Jamie Council/KX Sports)
Spilman isn’t used to losing, but in this match Zach showed his true strength.
(Dale Spilman, 2016 State Champion) “I’m 13-1 now and I don’t regret it at all. My one loss of the season is to Zach and 100 times again, I’d get pinned by him again. For me to give back to Zach, it just meant the world.
(Pete Dobitz, Zach’s Father and DHS Wrestling Coach) “


(Jamie Council/KX Sports) You pinned him?


(Zach Dobitz, AOTW) “Yeah.”


(Jamie Council/KX Sports) Was it hard?


(Zach Dobitz, AOTW) “Easy”


In Dickinson, I’m Jamie Council, KX Sports.

Despite his recent loss, Dale is still ranked first in the state. Zach gets in on the action in Special Olympics where he participates in baseball, basketball, and track and field where shot put is his favorite event.
 

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